“If I could die anywhere, I think it would be in a rehearsal room,” Cate Blanchett told Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes this week. “That feeling of being 12 and being at a sleepover-- it's really impolite, it's naughty, you're up after hours, and you're doing things that you wouldn't do out in the real world.”
The 44-year-old actress opened up to Lesley Stahl about life, acting, how she prepared for her most famous roles, from a fallen socialite in “Blue Jasmine” to Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” to Katharine Hepburn in “The Aviator.” (Watch the video in the above video player to hear it from Cate.)
Stahl went all the way to Australia to see the actress in her home country and her home theater, the Sydney Theater Company, where Blanchett scored her first big role on stage. Blanchett spoke to Stahl at length about her love of theater and the ways in which her stage-acting experience benefits her Hollywood film roles.
In one example, Stahl asked about a scene in “Elizabeth” in which Blanchett manages to convey an emotion to the audience while the camera only showed her from behind.
“This is where the theater helps,” explained Blanchett. “You have to act with your back.”
Perhaps the most difficult part of the job for the actress is not acting, but speaking to the press. In a candid moment, Blanchett told Stahl that she found her 60 Minutes interview to be “excruciating.”
“That sounded really rude, didn't it?” said Blanchett, catching herself. She explained her comment to Stahl, saying: “I like to be myself; I don't want to perform myself.
But the longer the 60 Minutes crew stayed in Australia, the warmer and more trusting the actress became. “I don't think she likes being asked personal questions, and I don't think she's that familiar with doing the in-depth interviews that we do,” said Stahl. “There was a lot of discomfort at the beginning, but she settled down.”
By the end of Stahl’s visit, she found Blanchett to be “down to earth, no pretentions, almost like girlfriends sitting around chatting,” said Stahl. “Authenticity is everything in Australia and with her.”Yet, when Stahl asked Blanchett her final question, whether she was happy in life, the actress answered this way: “I’m as happy as it is humanly possible to because I think we’re about to finish the interview.”